A new study in the journal Psychological Science investigated the dynamics underlying why we repeatedly convince ourselves that we’ve overcome impulsiveness and can stop avoiding our worst temptations. This particular tendency toward self-deception is called restraint bias, and four experiments were conducted under this study to test the hypothesis that it’s rampant in our bias-prone species.... Read more »
Nordgren, L., van Harreveld, F., & van der Pligt, J. (2009) The Restraint Bias: How the Illusion of Self-Restraint Promotes Impulsive Behavior. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02468.x
Reposted from Evolved Primate
Drop a couple of pens in front of an eighteen-month-old toddler, and there is a decent chance your toddler will display a spontaneous act of altruism by picking them up for you. A recent experiment at the Max Planck Institute now shows that this kind of cooperative, altruistic behavior in toddlers can be increased by affiliative priming. Priming is a powerful tool in psychological research, and successful priming experiments usually hint that deep routed automatic........ Read more »
The pursuit of love may be more a cooperative team sport than a one-on-one pick-up game. New research reveals that both sexes cooperate to achieve romantic goals. Find out more.... Read more »
Ackerman, J., & Kenrick, D. (2009) Cooperative Courtship: Helping Friends Raise and Raze Relationship Barriers. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(10), 1285-1300. DOI: 10.1177/0146167209335640
A truly amazing paper in today’s Nature1 shows 2-photon microscopy videos of T cells entering the brain in search of their target antigen. The title of this post is taken from the commentary,2 also in Nature.
Disease-causing T cells first adhere to the inner walls of the pial vessels and then crawl in continuous contact with [...]... Read more »
Bartholomäus, I., Kawakami, N., Odoardi, F., Schläger, C., Miljkovic, D., Ellwart, J., Klinkert, W., Flügel-Koch, C., Issekutz, T., Wekerle, H.... (2009) Effector T cell interactions with meningeal vascular structures in nascent autoimmune CNS lesions. Nature, 462(7269), 94-98. DOI: 10.1038/nature08478
Here is a real world example how Linguistic morphology of chemical names may have unwanted secondary effects. For example, English search engines such as Google and Yahoo! are unable to find "chlorobenzene" by searching for "benzene". Interestingly, in other languages such as Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (CJK languages), this is less of a problem, where for example the Japanese "(chlorobenzene) can usually be found by querying for"(benzene).So next time you visit Japan and wish to buy an Aspirin........ Read more »
Sayle, R. (2009) Foreign Language Translation of Chemical Nomenclature by Computer. Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, 49(3), 519-530. DOI: 10.1021/ci800243w
At the end of the Permian period, about 250 million years ago and not long before the dinosaurs appeared, life on Earth experienced its greatest catastrophe: a mass extinction that did away with the vast majority of life forms on land and sea. The question arises, who ate the carcasses of the deceased? Surely bacteria and protozoa digested the animal corpses, most likely reaching unusually high population sizes as the result. But who took care of the masses of dead plant material? Fun........ Read more »
Sephton, M., Visscher, H., Looy, C., Verchovsky, A., & Watson, J. (2009) Chemical constitution of a Permian-Triassic disaster species. Geology, 37(10), 875-878. DOI: 10.1130/G30096A.1
November’s entity of the month at ChEBI is the antimalarial drug Artemether. This accompanies release 62 of ChEBI, not just yet another incremental release but an increase of more than twentyfold in the number of entities in ChEBI, thanks to merging of data between an updated ChEBI  and ChEMBL . ChEBI now (as of [...]... Read more »
de Matos, P., Alcantara, R., Dekker, A., Ennis, M., Hastings, J., Haug, K., Spiteri, I., Turner, S., & Steinbeck, C. (2009) Chemical Entities of Biological Interest: an update. Nucleic Acids Research. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp886
Warr, W. (2009) ChEMBL. An interview with John Overington, team leader, chemogenomics at the European Bioinformatics Institute Outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-EBI). Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design, 23(4), 195-198. DOI: 10.1007/s10822-009-9260-9
Singh, N., & Panwar, V. (2006) Case Report of a Pituitary Macroadenoma Treated With Artemether. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 5(4), 391-394. DOI: 10.1177/1534735406295311
Wu, Z., Gao, C., Wu, Y., Zhu, Q., Yan Chen, ., Xin Liu, ., & Chuen Liu, . (2009) Inhibitive Effect of Artemether on Tumor Growth and Angiogenesis in the Rat C6 Orthotopic Brain Gliomas Model. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 8(1), 88-92. DOI: 10.1177/1534735408330714
From palm oil to eucalyptus to rubber, researchers have generally found that commercial plantations are bad for biodiversity compared to natural forests. Now a new study in the journal Conservation Biology finds that increasing the structural complexity of plantations could make them better for birds.
The study reflects a pragmatic way of thinking on the part of many conservationists who accept the reality that plantations are here to stay and maybe they can complement protected areas in cons........ Read more »
Surely one of the most charming sights is of an adult struggling to reach an object, only for a toddler to pick up that object and hand it to the adult, as research has shown they so often will. Psychologists think such ingrained altruism has evolved as a consequence of our species' dependence on group living for survival. Supporting this account, Harriet Over and Malinda Carpenter have shown that subtle exposure to the sight of two apparently companionable dolls, stood side by side, is enough t........ Read more »
Breaking news in the field of chemistry dealing with otherwise unbreakable carbon-hydrogen bonds. The reaction: C-H activation, the substrate tetrahydrofuran (THF), the reagent: a so-called bimetallic base. Ordinary bases such as buLi can metallate the alpha hydrogen atom in THF but with subsequent ring-cleavage. Kennedy et al. now demonstrate that by adding a second metal to lithium and something else, lithiated THF can be stabilized or rather sedated
... Read more »
Kennedy, A., Klett, J., Mulvey, R., & Wright, D. (2009) Synergic Sedation of Sensitive Anions: Alkali-Mediated Zincation of Cyclic Ethers and Ethene. Science, 326(5953), 706-708. DOI: 10.1126/science.1178165
TRegs infiltrate into a tumor
One of the reasons the immune system doesn’t destroy tumors is the presence of regulatory T cells (TRegs) that actively shut down the anti-tumor response. For once, there’s a little bit of encouraging news on that front.
TRegs are normal parts of the immune system. They actively prevent other T cells (and [...]... Read more »
Bonertz, A., Weitz, J., Pietsch, D., Rahbari, N., Schlude, C., Ge, Y., Juenger, S., Vlodavsky, I., Khazaie, K., Jaeger, D.... (2009) Antigen-specific Tregs control T cell responses against a limited repertoire of tumor antigens in patients with colorectal carcinoma. Journal of Clinical Investigation. DOI: 10.1172/JCI39608
Usually, when I post about a scientific paper, the focus is on its methodology and interpreting its conclusions into real world applications. This time, we’re going to do something a little different and use an oft cited paper on the plausibility of warp drive propulsion to build a theoretical model of our own. You see, [...]... Read more »
With banks being bailed out all over the place these days, many people are asking themselves why those in charge get paid such high salaries. Are CEOs really worth their million pound bonuses? Not according to Venkat Venkatasubramanian, who has calculated that US chief executives get paid nearly 130 times what they should.
As a professor [...]... Read more »
Venkatasubramanian, V. (2009) What is Fair Pay for Executives? An Information Theoretic Analysis of Wage Distributions. Entropy, 11(4), 766-781. DOI: 10.3390/e11040766
Which physical characteristics make for attraction? Many popular science reports evoke evolutionary psychology arguments as explanations of why modern humans supposedly respond to these attractiveness cues, but often times these reports fail to consider conflicting data realities as well as the many subtle limitations that are generally involved in research...... Read more »
Weeden J, & Sabini J. (2005) Physical attractiveness and health in Western societies: a review. Psychological bulletin, 131(5), 635-53. PMID: 16187849
Notion of pre-competitive collaboration has been in under experiment steadily for quite sometime now. Notable examples are the Airbus consortium of European aircraft manufacturers, the Sematech consortium of US semiconductor manufacturers, banks working together to launch Visa and Mastercard, our recent moon lust and many more. But this was never a case for pharmaceutical industry until now which is now lowering industry firewalls to shift funding and focus from early- to late-stage projects by ........ Read more »
Barnes, M., Harland, L., Foord, S., Hall, M., Dix, I., Thomas, S., Williams-Jones, B., & Brouwer, C. (2009) Lowering industry firewalls: pre-competitive informatics initiatives in drug discovery. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 8(9), 701-708. DOI: 10.1038/nrd2944
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych
Recently I finished writing an article with child depression researcher Dr. Maria Kovacs about the concept of prodromal processes in child and adolescent depression. The article should be appearing early next year on a special issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. In that article, we reviewed the extensive literature on the predictors [...]... Read more »
Gallerani, C., Garber, J., & Martin, N. (2009) The temporal relation between depression and comorbid psychopathology in adolescents at varied risk for depression. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2009.02155.x
The title of this post should not come as a surprise to readers of virology blog – it was shown in 1974 that zinc could interfere with replication of rhinoviruses (see “Zinc and the common cold“). I am referring to the result of my first experiment to study the mechanism of zinc inhibition – something I promised I would document on these pages.
... Read more »
A reader of this blog wrote to me recently regarding a series of posts I have written regarding IQ,SES and heritability, and I thought it would be good to share the comments with the rest of the mouse trap community and to delineate my position on the matter (and what I believe the studies show [...]Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Related posts:IQ matters…or does it? This is just an FYI post regarding two great articles...IQ variations across time and space : the why and wherefore? Mind H........ Read more »
Turkheimer, E., Haley, A., Waldron, M., D'Onofrio, B., & Gottesman, I. (2003) Socioeconomic status modifies heritability of iq in young children. Psychological Science, 14(6), 623-628. DOI: 10.1046/j.0956-7976.2003.psci_1475.x
Harden, K., Turkheimer, E., & Loehlin, J. (2006) Genotype by Environment Interaction in Adolescents’ Cognitive Aptitude. Behavior Genetics, 37(2), 273-283. DOI: 10.1007/s10519-006-9113-4
Capron, C., & Duyme, M. (1989) Assessment of effects of socio-economic status on IQ in a full cross-fostering study. Nature, 340(6234), 552-554. DOI: 10.1038/340552a0
Attention all boaters, please slow down for wildlife! A new study finds that recreational power boating can pose serious threats to freshwater turtles.
Researchers from the University of Ontario measured the occurrence of power boating injuries to northern map turtles ... Read more »
Bulté, G., Carrière, M., & Blouin-Demers, G. (2009) Impact of recreational power boating on two populations of northern map turtles ( ) . Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.1063
by Mary in OpenHelix
One of the hottest searches we see all the time is for more information on CNVs, or copy number variations. These intriguing structural variants in our genomes explain a lot of the reason that SNP hunting for complex diseases like schizophrenia and autism weren’t able to elucidate the problems as most people expected. These spectrum sorts of conditions were just not going to turn out as straightforward as the sickle-cell variation or the cystic fibrosis stories.
Resources to catalog an........ Read more »
Shaikh, T., Gai, X., Perin, J., Glessner, J., Xie, H., Murphy, K., O'Hara, R., Casalunovo, T., Conlin, L., D'Arcy, M.... (2009) High-resolution mapping and analysis of copy number variations in the human genome: A data resource for clinical and research applications. Genome Research, 19(9), 1682-1690. DOI: 10.1101/gr.083501.108
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